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on 5 April 2008
I didn't have great expectations of this album when I initially ordered it, given that there are a fair few albums focused on West African music from the seventies and they are of distinctly varying quality, in my experience. Fortunately on its arrival I was pleasantly surprised to find a double album that was beautifully put together in terms of packaging and one of the most interesting and informative accompanying booklets I have seen for a while. The music was pretty good too.

Essentially this is a compilation of rare tracks that the compiler felt were worth trying to bring to a wider audience. Predominantly it explores the highlife scene of early 1970's Nigeria but without being exclusive. Furthermore, thanks to the excellent sleeve notes, it puts it all into its linguistic and cultural context.

There are some really brilliant individual tracks on here as well. In the vein of deep Afro-rock grooves, Mono-Mono's "Ema Kowa Iasa Ile Wa" is a real winner, as is the Don Isaac Ezequiel Combination's "Amalinja" and "Asiko Ni Mi" by the Nigerian Police Force Band. "Akula Owu Onyeara" by the Funkee's deserves to be a funk classic and "Okwukwe Na Nchekwube" by Celestine Ukwu and His Philosophers National is a wonderful demonstration of what Highlife music, as Nigerian pop, can really be all about.

This is obviously not an album that will appeal to everyone, and as with any compilation there are some tracks that will remain in the memory longer than others, but this is a record of real charm and intelligence which brings to life an interesting musical scene without over-indulging on one or two artists who have achieved more success.
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on 28 February 2008
A wonderful and intelligently compiled collection of Nigerian electric highlife and Afro-rock from the early 1970's. With a four panel digipack case, a well written and informative booklet and 2 discs of impossibly rare music, excellently mastered for CD reissue, this is an absolute bargain.

Unlike many of the recent reissue collections of Nigerian music this one bypasses the more well known Afrobeat selections and concentrates on some of the more obscure sounds created in the nation's most fertile period. There is irresistably infectious highlife, there's embryonic Afrobeat style workouts and there is straight ahead rock sounds, although with a definite African influence.

The compilers deserve a big pat on the back for releasing such a varied, but consistently excellent album. Hopefully they have plans to extend this series and uncover further selections of some of the most joyous music on the planet.

If you're a fan of Fela, Femi, Franco, Nigerian, Ghanaian or Congolese music the there is very little chance you'll be disappointed by this set. And at just over eleven quid it's an absolute steal
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on 17 May 2010
If someone is interested in Nigerian music this is the place to start

2 CD's of music from super stars to one hit wonders it captures the range and vitality of Nigeria and its recent musical heritage

Every home should have a copy!
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on 7 June 2013
This 2 disc set is full of great songs...a fusion of blues/jazz/african/pop/caribbean you name it highlife music and all music lovers will love it. f you are tired of boring western popular music put this on...also is nicely packaged with a fully informative booklet.
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on 28 July 2008
one of the best records I've ever heard in my life. Why didn't I hear this music when I was young?
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on 14 August 2011
Perhaps, like me, you are thinking of buying this because you have found out that some tracks were used in the BBC Documentary `Welcome to Lagos'. Think again.

This is a 2-CD set, and apart from 2 tracks (1 and 9 on CD One) that were featured in the documentary, it is a collection of dull, forgettable, `B'-side tunes.

Don't waste your money.
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